Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and the second largest city in the country after Istanbul. It is located at the heart of both Turkey and Central Anatolia. The population is around 4.5 million.
Ankara is the administrative center of Turkey and is a huge university town, so it has a large population of government workers and university students. As the national capital, Ankara is home to a large population of foreign diplomats and embassy staff, so it offers goods and services that might be more difficult to find in other Turkish cities.
After a short flight from Istanbul we arrived in Ankara. The tour operators intentionally break the 800Km journey from Istanbul to Kaysri due East by making a short halt at Ankara. From a tourist angle there is very little to see except the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and Anitkabir Museum.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Some of us were extremely glad that we visited the museum. The superb Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is the perfect introduction to the complex weave of Turkey's ancient past, housing artifacts cherry-picked from just about every significant archaeological site in Anatolia.
The central room houses reliefs and statues, while the surrounding hall displays exhibits from Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Assyrian, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Lydian periods. Downstairs are classical Greek and Roman artefacts and a display on Ankara's history.
The museum is beautifully planned and a treat to walk through. There are life sized exhibits of the oldest periods of history. It showcases cavemen in their natural habitat.
There after we proceeded to ‘Anitkabir’ the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. It is an extremely imposing memorial, matching the towering stature of Ataturk. Situated on top of a hill the monument commands a panoramic view of the surroundings.
We thereafter proceeded to Cappadocia by bus.
Figure 1 – All the pretty ladies
Figure 2 - The day in the life of Neanderthals
Figure 3 - An exhibit showcasing the Old Stone Age or the Palaeolithic Age
Figure 4 - A view of the Museum Hall with its unique collection of Anatolian artifacts
Figure 5 A necklace said to have belonged to Cleopatra
Figure 6 - Cleopatra’s earrings
Figure 7 A bronze artifact - Stag statuette, symbol of a Hittite male god
Figure 8 - Mysterious figures and stone carved lions at the museum
Figure 9 The Fertility goddess with her full figured form depicting plenty
Figure 10 - A cauldron used for religious purposes or for cooking
Figure 11 - Pottery
Figure 12 - Animal figures
Figure 13 - The inlaid table from Tumulus MM, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara.
Figure 14 - Outside the museum - exact replica of monument from Fasıllar
Figure 15 - A profusion of flowers, a constant in beautiful Turkey
Figure 16 – Time for photo op
Figure 17 - ‘Anitkabir’ the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Figure 18 – View from the mausoleum
Figure 19 – With the guard
Figure 20 – Change of guard
Figure 21 – KM and Sudhi with a very tall guard
Figure 22 – Inside the museum – a painting depicting a naval battle scene
Figure 23 – Imposing portrait of Kemal Ataturk. Ataturk’s motto “Peace at home and peace abroad”
Figure 24 – A mural depicting their leader
Figure 25 – Extent of the mausoleum